Iron Roamer, Brian Thiessen, at Trails End BMW in Fairbanks, Alaska


I left early from Tok to get to Trails End BMW in Fairbanks to get more off road tires put on my motorcycle suitable to get me to the Arctic Ocean. I got there at just about 11 am. They recommended Heidenau, K60 Scout tires. Done. Trails End BMW is a funny place in that it serviced Harley Davidson, Victory, Honda, and BMW.



The Wait

It was a nice day out and everyone needing servicing sat on picnic table outside. It was actually a lot of fun. People were there from New York, Michigan, North Dakota and Alaska. There was the usual good natured ribbing between the Harley and BMW riders. And the talking about trips and equipment. I could have been working on my blogs or figuring out my Go Pro, but this kind of camaraderie between motorcyclist is just too much fun. And does the solo travelers heart good.

The hours passed.


One particular person stood out, my man Enrique! Enrique is a 45 year old Spaniard living in Brooklyn, New York. He spent the last 5 months traveling around the US on his BMW. He had just come back from Prudhoe Bay where he dropped his bike, putting a crack in the crash bar. Besides being the life of the tables, he was also very authentic. During the hours that passed we had a chance to talk together about life on the road as a solo male traveler and especially as a traveler up north. Our thoughts and feeling were so similar. As he said, “it is nice to know that others have the same feelings as you do.” It was. Thanks for the talk my friend.

More hours passed.


At one point I wanted to put my prescription sunglasses on. I couldn’t find them. I thought where I might have put them. It hit me. I took them off in the restaurant in Tok! Crap! I used the phone to call and sure enough they were there. I debated what I should do. Tok is an almost 3 hour ride from Fairbanks. I guess I would have to go there tomorrow instead of taking the day off from riding.

By 6:30 pm my bike was finally ready!

From this:


To this:



Hotels are expensive in Fairbanks. I had booked a cheaper hostel at the same price as camping. My experience at the Takhini Hostel was awesome. I should have known they aren’t all like that. I arrived at an older white small house and greeted by a college aged guy who showed me around. He was nice. However, the house, in my view, was crammed with bunk beds. I was shown to an upper bunk bed in the basement in a small room with 2 bunk beds. The house reeked of stir fry. After climbing up on the bunk I knew I couldn’t do this. My claustrophobia kicked in with the upper bunk, cramped room, and the smell. I felt trapped. I needed freedom 🙂 I should have taken pictures. Still learning to do that.

I made the decision to leave and go to Tok to get my glasses.

Back to Tok

Back on the bike I felt freedom riding in the warm summer evening in the sun. Although I didn’t really think things out very well. By this time it was 9 pm. By the time I got to the restaurant it would likely be closed.

The sun set at about 11:30 pm. However, it still wasn’t really dark. A hour later the sun started to rise! By this time it was now raining. When I got to the restaurant it was of course closed. I was wet and cold. I wanted a hotel. They were all closed. I decided to go back to the campsite I was at and set up tent in the rain. I crawled into my tent wet. Regardless, it was still better than that hostel. I was free.

My Route for July 11, 2016. Back and Forth!


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